Lisa Matassa – Me Time

It Is What It Is recording artist Lisa Matassa presents her new country radio single, “Me Time.” Nine North Records has signed on for national promotion efforts, and the single goes for adds June 13.
Matassa’s life is a comeback story, a fairytale that has yet to have its ending written. From a little girl with a big voice to an emerging signed dance pop sensation by the age of nineteen, Lisa eventually put her music career on hold to become a wife and mother on Long Island. That fire inside her to perform and record never died, and now Lisa is ready to conquer the music scene once again with her own unique style that she lovingly calls Long Island Country. “I bring a unique perspective to my music now,” asserts Lisa. “Not many mothers with teenagers embark on a recording career later in life.”
With two-time Grammy nominated Executive Producer and writer, Bobby Guy Graziose at the helm and collaboration by producer Joey Sykes (Meredith Brooks, Third Eye Blind, Don Henley), Lisa released her EP Me Time. “The songs that we recorded and the songwriters I collaborated with, it gives me chills!” exclaims Lisa. The album title Me Time reflects the notion of a woman owning her power and making her own happiness and fulfillment a priority, something that every woman, wife or mother can relate to.
Lisa is embarking on this chapter of her music career on her own terms, explaining, “I feel like I have unfinished business to do. I want to bring this dream of music to the forefront because I know my time is coming. There is such a positive energy around this project and so many people who want to get behind it.”
Lisa Matassa – Me Time

Jolene Mercer Passes

(L-R): Garth Brooks, Jolene Mercer

Texas music publicist Jolene Mercer died Saturday, May 28, following a long illness.
She was noted for working with such artists as Chris LeDoux, Ricky Lynn Gregg, Janie Fricke, Asleep at the Wheel, Charley Pride, Neal McCoy, Josh Logan and Billy “Crash” Craddock. At various times during her career, she was also an event planner, booking agent and manager.
In 1982-84, Jolene Mercer was the publicist for the Dallas-based Permian Records. She coordinated tours, promoted records and handled advertising for the label’s Lynn Anderson, among others.
After a year working for The Oak Ridge Boys, she launched a nightclub booking business. She booked Mark Nessler, Ricky Lynn Gregg and a number of regional artists into the major show rooms and clubs of East Texas.
In 1987-89 she was the entertainment buyer and publicist for The Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas. She also booked conventions and meetings for the Sheraton/Mockingbird West Hotel.
She formed Mercer & Associates as her own public relations firm in 1988. In addition to print publications, she placed clients with radio and television programs in the Lone Star State. She organized the press conference for Garth Brooks’ “Beyond the Season – Feed the Children” initiative and handled press for the superstar’s video of “The Thunder Rolls.”
In 1992-94 she was the co-owner and co-producer of the Country Music Fan Jam in Dallas. This involved contacting and coordinating transportation and scheduling of 86 artists, plus networking the 62 Fan Jam radio stations.
Other events she organized included the Dallas Street Festival, the Caddo Indian Texas Festival, the Dallas Taste of West End and fund raising for the North Texas Food Bank. At various times, she did PR for the Chinese Acrobats, the Dallas/Ft. Worth Spurs (now the Texas Rangers), wrestlers, rodeo cowboys and football players.
Jolene Mercer was also the Texas location scout for the six-hour 1996 TBS documentary, America’s Music: The Roots of Country, guiding its crew to numerous sites and artists in the Dallas and Ft. Worth areas.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at press time.

United Way Song Contest

United Way is hosting its second annual “LIVE UNITED Song Contest.” The organization is looking for songs about hope, teamwork, restoration, community impact and overcoming adversity.
Up to ten finalists will perform their songs live at The Listening Room on June 21st for a panel of judges including: hit songwriter Cary Barlowe (Lady Antebellum, tobyMac, Taylor Swift), Beth Brightwell (95.5 WSM), Marty Slayton Jordan (George Strait Backup Vocalist, United Way Advocate), Dan Keen (Belmont University Instructor of Music Business, Former VP at ASCAP), and Doak Turner (owner, The Nashville Muse, Music Starts Here).
The winner’s song will be used in an upcoming UNITED WAY DAY OF ACTION video, which will be featured on and emailed to thousands of United Way partners across the city.
The winner will also win a prize package from WSM-fm valued at over $150. All proceeds from the contest and performance go to purchase school supplies for at-risk kids in Nashville.
Songs will be accepted until June 10. Details on the contest at

Sony/ATV Promotes Berschback, Inks Kristen Kelly

Duff Berschback

Sony/ATV has promoted Duff Berschback to Sr. VP, Legal Affairs and Business Development, Nashville.
Most recently Sony/ATV’s VP, Business Affairs, Berschback will continue his responsibilities for all aspects of business and legal affairs in the Nashville office, including signings, catalog acquisitions, joint ventures, and litigation. His new role will including developing new business models, strategic relationships and growth initiatives.
“Duff has proven himself to be an invaluable asset to our team,” says Sony/ATV Nashville President/CEO Troy Tomlinson. “His new role will help us to achieve our aggressive growth plans for the future.”
Berschback joined Sony/ATV in 2007 as Sr. Dir., Business Affairs. Prior to that he worked for a private law practice representing writers, artists, managers and more.
Sony/ATV has also announced the signing of Kristen Kelly to an exclusive publishing deal. The Texas artist also recently inked a record deal with RCA and is working on music with producers Paul Overstreet and Tony Brown. She is one of the first clients to join John Grady’s new Crush Nashville roster.

(L-R): Front: Stephanie Cox, Kristen Kelly, Paul Overstreet; Back: Troy Tomlinson, John Grady, Ben Strain, Jordan S. Keller

CMT Awards Crank Star Power; Sugarland Helps Heartland

>>>Sugarland and tour mates Little Big Town have created a special video performance of “Stand Up” from the duo’s platinum album Incredible Machine. The performance and video clip go on sale today (5/31) on iTunes. All proceeds go to the Red Cross to support victims from last month’s tornadoes across Alabama and in Joplin, MO. The video costs $1.99 and the audio track is $1.29.
>>>The 2011 CMT Music Awards is preparing to inject America with a strong dose of reality [show] star power. Shania Twain is set to make her first appearance on the show in seven years. Joining the growing list of presenters are teen pop sensation Justin Bieber, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and runner up Lauren Alaina, as well as Dancing With The Stars winner (and sometime Pittsburgh Steeler) Hines Ward. Also presenting will be Sara Evans, Train, Kristin Chenowith, stars of the CMT original movie To The Mat Laura Bell Bundy and Ricky Schroder, Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews, actress Melissa Peterman and actress Mary Steenburgen.
Kid Rock will reprise his host role, and the evening will feature performances by Big & Rich, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Toby Keith and the Incognito Banditos, and Zac Brown Band. Tickets are sold out but check CMT’s Twitter for information on opportunities to win seats. The show airs live on CMT June 8 at 7 pm CT.

Post Holiday Highlights

Colleen Taylor

>>>Colleen Taylor has joined Big Machine Label Group as Administrative Assistant. A connecticut native and recent Belmont University grad., Taylor interned with the label before gaining this full time position.
“Colleen is an extremely smart & talented young lady who is a great addition to our team,” said BMLG CEO/President Scott Borchetta. “The building fell in love with her while she was an intern and we made sure we didn’t let her get away!” Taylor will report to Harry Lyons, Borchetta’s Executive Assistant. To congratulate her click her email: [email protected]

(L-R) Clarence Spalding and Gillie Crowder (SOURCE member/Live Nation) Photo: Denisse Fussell

>>>Spalding Entertainment’s Clarence Spalding shared information about artist management with SOURCE—an organization of women executives in Nashville’s Music Industry on May 24. Spalding roster currently includes Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Sara Evans, Terri Clark, and Ashley Monroe.
>>>In preparation for the new exhibition Chet Atkins:  Certified Guitar Player, which opens at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on August 11, 2011, Museum Curatorial Director Mick Buck and VP Museum Services Carolyn Tate met with three of Atkins’ CGPs:  Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles and Steve Wariner.  CGP – “certified guitar player” – was the honorary degree created by Atkins and bestowed upon only a handful of legatees.

(L-R) Mick Buck, Steve Wariner, John Knowles, Tommy Emmanuel and Carolyn Tate. Photo: Donn Jones


Jaron Lowenstein

>>>For Memorial Day Weekend, Jaron Lowenstein (Jaron and The Long Road To Love) asked his fans to post pictures of themselves or family members who are or were in the armed forces so that he could see faces rather than just use the faceless term “men and women of the armed forces.” His Facebook wall exploded into a moving tribute to these soldiers and their families. Also, check out Jaron’s YouTube channel which has a duet with Big Kenny called, “Beautiful Lies.”

Artist Visits: Photo Spread

Zac Brown Band shoot their latest music video for “Knee Deep” in Careyes, Mexico.  Zac and family (wife Shelly and their four daughters) stayed the weekend to enjoy the local cuisine, drinks and sunshine.

Zac Brown chilling in the pool at a resort in Careyes, Mexico. Photo: Amanda Edwards/PictureGroup

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Brad Paisley was a special guest recently on ABC’s Good Morning America in support of his newly released album This Is Country Music. After an interview with GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts, Paisley along with supergroup Alabama, performed their No. 1 Billboard hit, “Old Alabama.” Co-written by Paisley, Chris DuBois, Dave Turnbull, and Randy Owen, this marks Paisley’s 19th No. 1.

(L-R): Brianna Golodryga, GMA Weekend Anchor; Jeff Cook, Alabama; Robin Roberts, GMA co-anchor; Paisley, George Stephanopoulos, GMA co-anchor; Randy Owen, Alabama; Lara Spencer, GMA lifestyle anchor; Teddy Gentry, Alabama. Photo: Ben Enos

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Columbia Nashville artist Bradley Gaskin performed his debut single “Mr. Bartender” on a recent visit to the Crook & Chase Show.

(L-R): Lorianne Crook; Gaskin and Charlie Chase.



CMA Awards Live On ABC Nov. 9

The Country Music Association and ABC Television Network have announced that The 45th Annual CMA Awards will air live Wednesday, Nov. 9 (8:00-11:00 PM/EST) on ABC from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
“The CMA Awards recognizes the best in the format – that’s what makes this ‘Country Music’s Biggest Night’,” says CMA CEO Steve Moore. “The CMA Awards is one of the most highly anticipated events for our industry each year. It’s a night to honor our finest performers, songwriters, record producers, musicians, and music video directors.”
The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by the 6,000 industry professional members of CMA. The eligibility period for the 2011 CMA Awards is July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. All voting for The 45th Annual CMA Awards will be conducted online. The first ballot and instructions will be e-mailed June 27 to CMA members in good standing who are eligible to vote. Voting for the first ballot closes at 5 PM/CT, July 13. The second ballot will be e-mailed to CMA members Aug. 9. Voting for the second ballot closes at 5 PM/CT, Aug. 23. The final nominees in each of the 12 categories will be announced in early September. The third and final ballot will be e-mailed to CMA members Oct. 14. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends at 5 PM/CT, Nov. 1.
The 2010 CMA Awards was the No. 1 entertainment show for the week among the key advertising sales demographic Adults 18-49. The special beat its nearest competition by 5.7 million viewers and by 74 percent in Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. Held during November Sweeps (Nov. 10), The 44th Annual CMA Awards on ABC dominated the night winning all six of its half-hours. With a primetime sweep, ABC finished No. 1 on Wednesday in viewers across all key demos including Adult, Men, and Women (18-34/18-49/25-54), as well as finishing as the top broadcaster with Teens (12-17) and Kids (2-11). In Total Viewers (17.2 million) and Adults 18-49 (4.7/13) it was ABC’s strongest Wednesday in 12 months with an estimated 33.8 million viewers watching at least some portion of the three-hour gala.

Benefits: Morgan, Atkins, Bowen

Craig Morgan

Craig Morgan is set to host his 5th annual Charity Ride and Concert August ­­6 and 7 in his hometown of Dickson, Tenn., near Nashville. Proceeds from the two-day event will benefit Billy’s Place, a home for temporarily displaced children in Dickson. The family-friendly gathering features a celebrity dirtbike ride, a morning motocross exhibition, and a group trail ride and lunch. New for 2011 is the addition of a celebrity skeet shoot Aug. 7 in the morning. Later that day, Morgan and several of his country music friends will take to the stage for an intimate acoustic concert. Celebrity participants for all three events will be announced at a later date. All events are open to the public. Tickets can be purchased individually or for all three events by visiting

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Rodney Atkins will headline Music City Gives Back with a Josh Thompson, Thompson Square and others on Tuesday, June 7 in downtown Nashville.  The concert will increase awareness, take donations of needed items, and raise funds for the American Red Cross Relief Fund aiding tornado victims through the Nashville CVB foundation, Music City, Inc. The concert is open to the public and will be held between 2nd and 4th Ave. beginning at 7 pm. The public can make donations at the event or by visiting

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Texas favorite Wade Bowen raised over $127,500 for Postpartum Support International (PSI) in his 13th annual Wade Bowen Classic celebrity concert and golf tournament in Waco, TX on May 15 and 16. The two-day event saw a record turnout and raised more money than any prior year. Over the last three years, the Bowen Classic has raised approximately $350,000  for PSI. Bowen, with the help of friends Cody Canada & The Departed, Randy Rogers, Casey Donahew Band, Stoney LaRue, Kyle Park, Roger Creager, Ryan Beaver, Walt Wilkins, Ben Danaher, Willy Braun, Micky Braun, Gary Braun, No Justice, Josh Grider, Rich O’Toole and Angaleena Presley played to a crowd of over 2000 at Hog Creek Ice House in Waco, TX.  The following day 193 golfers joined him at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course for a round of golf and dinner to cap off the record-breaking event.

Artist Action (5/31/11)

(L-R): Jimmie Johnson, Montana, Kyle Petty. Photo: Harold Hinson

Mercury’s Randy Montana recently performed at NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s Jimmie Jam in Charlotte, NC. Following his performance, Montana was joined by Johnson and racing vet Kyle Petty for a “Storytellers”-type session onstage. The private fundraising event benefitted the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, which aids American children, families and communities in need.
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Congrats to Whisperin’ Bill Anderson and family, who are celebrating the arrival of his eighth grandchild, Amy Sophia Anderson. “Sophie” is the daughter of Anderson’s son Jamey and daughter-in-law Beth, who adopted her from China. She joins her siblings Gabe, Blake and Hallie. “I was able to see Sophie for the first time a couple weeks ago on my home computer screen, via Skype, all the way from China,” says Anderson.  “It was such an awesome moment!”
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17 Music Entertainment artist Matt Gary has been invited to perform the national anthem at the NASCAR STP 400 Sunday, June 5. The performance will be televised live at 1 pm CT from the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The occasion will be Gary’s first live performance of the national anthem. Gary is currently out visiting radio stations in support of his single “I’m Just Sayin’.”
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The Roys recently joined Ray Stevens, Danny Gokey, Michael English, Gary Chapman, Karen Peck & New River and others to raise money for the Somebody Cares For The Southeast cause. The event generated financial aid for flood and tornado victims of recent storms, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to those in need. The telethon originally aired May 22 on FamilyNet but will repeat on American Life Network and FamilyNet numerous times throughout the summer.

The Roys perform at the Somebody Cares For The Southeast telethon.